When was the last time you wrote letter to a loved one? I don’t mean an e-mail, a text message, or a mail-merged Christmas letter sent to all those on your list. I mean a real letter handwritten on a nice piece of stationary mailed in a stamped envelope. That long? Thought so.
As a nation, we have become so obsessed with instant communication that the very idea of writing someone a letter seems as archaic as a typewriter. In fact, our world has become so fast-paced that text messaging is no longer fast enough. We now find ourselves using cryptic abbreviations to speed up our message. At the pace we are going, the letter is not only becoming a lost art, but it is also endangered. By danger I mean that we run the risk of becoming the first generation in history to leave no written record of ourselves to pass on to the next generation!
A letter is a very intimate form of communication; especially now that we receive so few of them. The content of each letter matters; not only because of the personal nature, but because of the time and effort it takes in producing one in an increasingly disconnected world.
The following are a few suggestions for starting or renewing your letter-writing efforts:
- Select a few friends or family members who would most likely agree to starting a written correspondence with you. This is not critical, but it helps to have someone with whom you can actually have an on-going correspondence.
- Use good stationary and a quality pen to make letter-writing more meaningful and enjoyable. For example, I received a beautiful, hand-made pen from my brother-in-law at Christmas time. Using the pen when writing a note or letter enhances the writing experience.
- Write about what’s going on in your life. Use this letter-writing experience as an opportunity to delve into deeper things, whether it be about the world, your relationship with the person you’re writing to, or about yourself.
- Keep writing even if your letters go unanswered. With time, you will derive as much pleasure from writing the letters as you will from receiving one. One word of caution though… be prepared to receive e-mails in response to your letters. After all, it will take awhile to change the habits of others 🙂
- Keep an open mind as to what a letter IS if you are having a writer’s block. Think outside the box and redefine a “letter.”
- Write on some unusual surfaces such as a handkerchief, a scarf, or even a napkin.
- Try a non-traditional format. No one says you have to use white paper. Use white ink on black paper. Or write a letter in the form of song lyrics.
- Create your own envelope out of newspaper, gift wrap, or magazine pages.
- Don’t use an envelope at all. Consider a soda can, a DVD case, or a gift box.
- Get poetic. Write your news in the form of a haiku. Or write everything backwards so you need a mirror to read it. Better yet… make a rebus letter, omitting words and replacing them with pictures.
- Make your own stationary using old wallpaper books or old register tapes.
- Try a progressive letter. Start a letter in a notebook then have your friend add to it then pass it along to a third friend.
- Send your friend pens and paper from a stationary store and receive some in return.
For more fun tips, go to http://www.moderngypsy.com/green/alostart/ala-ideas.html.
With each letter, you are not only using your creativity, but you are also slowing down the pace of your life long enough to think about and be grateful for the little events that make up your day. Best of all… you leave a personal history of your experiences to pass on.
Remember … touch a life today “The Little Way” by following the lead and need of others. Also, if you ever thought to yourself, “I wish my customers, knew…”, then be sure to visit White Light Communications at http://www.tothewhitelight.com.